Frequently asked questions

This is a peninsula, right? Why is it called “Presque Isle?”
Presque Isle is French for “almost an island.”

When does Presque Isle open?
Presque Isle State Park is a day use park that is open all year. The park opens at 5 a.m. and closes at sunset, with evening driving hours running until 11 p.m. in the summer and 9 p.m. in the winter.

What does “beach open” mean?
An open beach is a beach where a lifeguard is on duty and the beach is open to swimming. Swimming beaches open at noon unless otherwise posted. You are not allowed to swim on unguarded beaches. To find out when beaches are closed, visit PresqueIsle.org or GoErie.com. You can also sign up for our text message service, that alerts you when beaches have closed.

What to the colored flags on the beach lifeguard stands mean? 
The flags indicate water conditions.

  • Green flag means normal swimming conditions.
  • Yellow flag means some restrictions due to hazardous conditions.
  • Red flag means the area is closed due to extreme hazardous conditions.
  • No flag means that no lifeguard is on duty and no swimming permitted.

Are dogs and other pets permitted on Presque Isle?
Yes. Pets must be on a leash and may only swim in unguarded swimming areas.

Is food sold on the peninsula?
Yes. There are concession stands at Beaches 6, 8, 10 and 11. Food concessions are open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Memorial Day to Labor Day. There are no restaurants on the park but many close by.

Is there camping on Presque Isle?
No. Camping is not permitted on the park, but there are several campgrounds close by.

Can you rent bikes on the park?
Yes. Bicycles and surreys — four-wheeled, pedal-driven carts — are available for rental at the Waterworks Pumphouse area. The Yellow Bike Rental Co. is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends during May, September and October. Call 814-835-8900 for more information.

Can you rent a boat on the park?
Yes. Canoe, rowboat, kayaks, motorboats and pontoon boats are available at the Presque Isle Canoe & Boat Livery.

Can you rent a jet ski on the park?
No. Jet skis are not available for rental on Presque Isle.

Are there deer ticks on Presque Isle?
Yes. On Presque Isle, small “Tick Area” signs warn hikers of the most infected parts of the park. These are generally the interior areas, near the thick vegetation and swamps. Your best defense against ticks and Lyme disease is prevention, according the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Its recommendations:

  • Use insect repellent with 20 percent to 30 percent deet on exposed skin and clothing to prevent tick bites. Permethrin is another type of repellent that kills ticks on contact and one application to pants, socks and shoes typically stays effective through several washings. However, Permethrin should not be applied directly to skin.
  • Wear long pants, long sleeves, and long socks to keep ticks off your skin. Light-colored clothing will help you spot ticks. Tucking pant legs into socks or boots and tucking shirts into pants help keep ticks on the outside of clothing. If you’ll be outside for an extended period, tape the area where your pants and socks meet to prevent ticks from crawling under your clothes.

Is fishing permitted on Presque Isle?
Yes, fishing is permitted anywhere except the marina docks during boating season and the guarded beaches during swimming season. For tips and tricks for fishing in the Erie area, visit the NWPA Outdoors Web site.

Is fishing equipment available for rental?
Yes. Loan equipment is available at the Stull Interpretive Center and equipment is available for purchase at the bait shops near the park entrance.

Where is the best place to fly kites?
Sunset Point is often the windiest part of the park and ideal for kite flying.

Is hunting permitted on Presque Isle?
Yes. Hunters must register with the park rangers. Waterfowl hunting is permitted from designated blinds during the hunting season. Deer hunting is permitted during the regulated hunt.

Can I launch my boat on Presque Isle?
Yes, there are several boat launch areas on the park. Check out our interactive park map to see their locations.

Is scuba diving permitted in park waters?
Yes. Divers must register with the park office at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center and receive the regulations regarding scuba diving.

Are there public programs offered on Presque Isle?
Yes. Daily programs are offered during the summer season and many programs offered all year. Check at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center or the Stull Interpretive Center to see what’s happening during your visit.

Where is the lighthouse? 
There are two lights on Presque Isle. The Presque Isle Lighthouse is located near Lighthouse Beach and is a private residence not open to visitors. The North Pier Light is located at the end of the North Pier near the channel of Presque Isle Bay. The North Pier light is a tower with no residence attached. Click here to see them on our interactive park map.

Canada’s on the other side there, huh? Just how big is Lake Erie?
Lake Erie is 57 miles wide (north-south), 241 miles long (east-west) and an average of 62 feet deep, the deepest point is 210 feet. The deepest point is located 9 miles off Long Point, Ontario.

When did Presque Isle become a State Park?
1921

Is the beach wheelchair accessible?
Free loaner beach wheelchairs are available at the Yellow Bike Shop. For questions or more information call 814-838-0099 or visit www.presqueislemedical.com.